Paying attention to everything the FAA has put forth since their rules and regulations were initially put into full effect is crucial for all drone fliers. Although, do you know the laws and regulations related to drones in your state, as well?
Flying Over Mississippi
Jones Memorial Park, while possibly being not the appropriate place to do so, is legal to fly a drone in. It’s a peaceful, green place to fly your drone in that is located in Gulfport, Mississippi. We ask that you do not fly near or on the graves out of respect for those who are buried there.
The Country Club of Jackson, located in Jackson, Mississippi, is another legal area that you can freely fly in. However, because it’s a country club, make sure that you stay out of the way of those visiting there.
Lastly, Deer Island is the best place to go if you want to capture the beautiful essence of the water, the small bits of green here and there, not to mention the open breeze. You can find Deer Island in Biloxi, Mississippi.
The Registering Process in Mississippi
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that all Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) owners follow strict regulations and laws. You will need to file your name, home address and your email address as a start.
From there, you will receive a Certificate of Aircraft Registration and Proof of Ownership. These will include an identification number for your aircraft. You must have this number displayed on your drone at all times. The number will be valid for up to 3 years.
All aircraft that weighs more than 0.55 pounds, or 250 grams, and less than 55 pounds, or 25 kilograms, must be registered. This also includes any added payloads, such as an onboard camera.
You must be at least 13-years-old in order to register and, effective December 21st, 2015, all newly purchased or made drones must be registered before their first flight. You are able to register through a paper-based process, but you can also do so online by clicking here.
Proximity to Airports in Mississippi
As a general rule of thumb, and in accordance with the law from the FAA, you may not fly within a 5-mile radius of any airport. In 2012 the FAA enacted the Modernization and Reauthorization Act which requires hobbyist drone operators, meaning residential, to contact air traffic control and/or airport management if they are operating within a 5-mile radius of any local airport.
This is enacted nationwide, not only in Mississippi, under Part 101 of the Act, being Special Rule for Model Aircraft, to ensure that drone operations under unsafe conditions are disapproved before the drone can be launched.
Regardless of the local airport you will be flying near, and possibly breaching airspace, you will need to contact either the airport air traffic control tower or the airport operator.
You will need to establish an agreed-upon operating procedure with airport air traffic or the airport operator and answer a couple of questions. For example, questions relating to how long you are going to be flying for.
Unique Drone Laws in Mississippi
At this time of writing, all of the legal information listed below is deemed as accurate as possible and fully in effect.
SB 2022 – Mississippi Code of 1972 Section 97-29-61
An Act to amend Section 97-29-61, Mississippi Code of 1972 to prohibit “Peeping Tom” activities that do not amount to felonious trespass; to amend section 97-29-63, Mississippi Code of 1972, to prohibit surreptitious photography of a person’s body or underclothing under circumstances in which a person would reasonably expect to not be the subject of such photography; and for related purposes.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 97-29-61, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
(a) Any person who enters upon real property, whether the original entry is legal or not, and thereafter pries or peeps through a window or other opening in a dwelling or other building structure for the lewd, licentious and indecent purpose of spying upon the occupants thereof, shall be guilty of a felonious trespass.
(b) Any person who looks through a window, hole or opening, or otherwise views by means of any instrumentality, including, but not limited to, a periscope, telescope, binoculars, drones, camera, motion-picture camera, camcorder or mobile phone, into the interior of a bedroom, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing room, spa, massage room or therapy room or tanning booth, or the interior of any other area in which the occupant has a reasonable expectation of privacy, with the intent to invade the privacy of a person or persons inside and without the consent or knowledge of every person present, for the lewd, licentious and indecent purpose of spying upon the occupant or occupants thereof, shall be guilty of a felony.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, a person who was over the age of twenty-one (21) at the time of the offense who is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) of this section shall be imprisoned in the custody of the Department of Corrections not more than five (5) years.
(b) When one or more occupants spied upon is a child under sixteen (16) years of age, a person who was over the age of twenty-one (21) at the time of the offense who is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) of this section shall be imprisoned in the custody of the Department of Corrections not more than ten (10) years.
SECTION 2. Section 97-29-63, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
(a) It is a felony for any person with lewd, licentious or indecent intent to photograph, film, videotape, record or otherwise reproduces the image of another person without the permission of the other person when the other person is located in a place where a person would intend to be in a state of undress and have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, private dwellings or any facility, public or private, used as a restroom, bathroom, shower room, tanning booth, locker room, fitting room, dressing room or bedroom shall be guilty of a felony.
(b) It is a felony for any person to invade the privacy of another person and with lewd, licentious or indecent intent to photograph, film, videotape, record or otherwise reproduce the image of another, identifiable person under or through the clothing being worn by that other person for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, the other person without the consent or knowledge of the other person and under circumstances in which the other person has a reasonable expectation that the other person’s body or undergarments would not be viewed or would not be the subject of a reproduced image.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, a person who was over the age of twenty-one (21) at the time of the offense who is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) of this section shall be punished by a fine of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or by imprisonment of not more than five (5) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections, or both.
(b) Where the person who is secretly photographed, filmed, videotaped or otherwise reproduced is a child under sixteen (16) years of age, a person who was over the age of twenty-one (21) at the time of the offense who is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) of this section shall be punished by a fine of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or by imprisonment of not more than ten (10) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections, or both.
This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2015.
Other Legal Issues With Drones in Mississippi
At this time of writing, there are no proposed house bills or Senate bills currently in session.
The Department of Homeland Security, along with the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), are currently training with drones in at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. Depending on their findings and the training they conduct, which began during April of this year, being 2018, new laws could be proposed as an outcome.
FAQ on Mississippi Drone Laws
If you do not see your question, or an answer to it, listed below, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll gladly give you one.
Is a drone/UAS considered the same as a model aircraft?
The United States Congress has defined and concluded that a model aircraft is only considered a drone or a UAS when the following points are met:
- It’s flown for recreational purposes or as a hobby and not for any business or commercial reasons
- It’s flown within visible distance, meaning being able to see it at all times, of the individual operating it
- It’s capable of sustaining flight within the atmosphere, meaning that it can fly
If your model aircraft, regardless of whether or not you acquired it pre-built or built it yourself, meets the above points to your knowledge, it’s considered a drone/UAS.
What is the Small UAS Rule?
The Small UAS Rule requires those who have unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, that weigh less than 55 pounds, payload included, to register their aircraft with the FAA. This only applies to recreational or hobby fliers and not commercial drone use, however.
Is the FAA’s Small UAS Rule still in effect?
Yes, it has been in effect from August 29th of 2016 and is still in effect at this time of writing.
Do I have to carry my Certificate of Aircraft Registration while flying my UAS at all times?
Yes, you must have the registration certificate from the FAA at all times during flight operation. In accordance with federal law, all UAS operators must show their certificate of registration to any local, state, or federal law enforcement officer when they are asked to do so.
What do I do for registration if my UAS is over the 55-pound limit?
If your UAS weighs more than 55 pounds, including payload, you will need to register it by clicking here.
Drone Laws in Mississippi
Knowing the laws, regulations, restrictions, etc., regarding drones in your state is extremely important. Remember to educate yourself, follow the rules, fly safely and responsibly, and have fun!